Using a hand drawn map as background in viewport or material(?) for terrain sculpting?

Hi people,

During summer 2019 I worked on a world setting for a D&D game, but the campaign never happened. It took me probably hundred of hours of works to make and recently found the documents back. I thought this was a waste and decided I might do something with it…

During the last few days I’ve come up with a full game design document and, although the document isn’t finished yet, there are part I could start working on right now.

What I’d like to do off the bat is create a crude terrain based on the hand drawn map of the world, but as it says in the title, it is hand drawn. Which brings me to the hot question:

Is there a way to use the map I drawn, on paper, in any way so I can properly sculpt the world? I mean, I can take a picture of the map, make it as square as possible, but I couldn’t find a(n obvious) way to import it into the engine. Then I though, maybe I could do that in the viewport–since many 3D apps have that option–but I couldn’t find that option either, if it exists.

So… anyone might have a suggestion? Maybe a 3rd party app? Or maybe it’s just my eyesight going off with old age and I just couldn’t see the option.


My suggestion would be to turn it into a crude heightmap that you adjust after it’s in, most likely making the mountains and smoothing the shorelines by hand

Scan it, possibly around 4k resolution.
Shouldn’t be hard unless it’s very large (used to draw mine on parchment/parchment sized whitebards back in the day). If it is rather large Kinkos(now fedex?) Does large format scans.

Once you have the file digitized, choose a landscape component and overall size.
Or, make a tiled world of the size you need.

Slap the texture in the material with a world position offset > mask RG / size of the world in cm

If the map is not square you can account for this in this step. Just make the world size larger and don’t include landscape tiles for it.

You can position the UV by using half the world size (which is the same as .5 in uv range).

That’ll stretch the 4k image across the whole thing.

Use it to sculpt out the landscape. Move on from there.

Thank you guys!

I’ll explore those solutions and I’ll see what I can come up with. If someone else has a suggestion, shoot it.

Again, thanks.